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Former governor was true servant

As one of only four Republican state senators in 1984, I did not know what to expect with Democrat Bill Allain as the new governor of our great state.

I did know that as attorney general, he began the monumental task of removing legislators from boards and commissions, basically restructuring state government, and to that effort I add a big Amen. Beyond the preceding, I knew very little of Bill Allain so the rest of this article is one conservative former senator’s opinion and first-hand view of Bill Allain as governor.

As Chairman of the Senate Ports and Industries Committee, I was able to gain the full support of Bill Allain in approving funding for the State Port at Gulfport, which meant many jobs for our people.

Very prominent during the Allain Administration, some misguided individuals fueled by Washington Politics, with “big money blinding their judgment” decided that Richton would make a great place to store all of the nuclear waste of the United States and other countries right here in Mississippi.

South Mississippians told me they did not want this to occur, I then wrote and guided to passage the “Nuclear Waste Policy Act,” and Bill Allain was at the front-end supporting this effort throughout. He gave additional support to this nuclear waste storage prohibition by appointing a Nuclear Waste Policy Advisory Committee to monitor happenings at the time.

I was privileged to serve on a select committee appointed by Allain to study the Mississippi State Constitution in which he recognized, as attorney general needed overhauling.

Having just begun my second term in the Senate, revenues were not coming in as expected and some legislators began talk of “tax increases.” Bill Allain immediately stood fast and said “no tax increase,” and there was no tax increase on hard-working Mississippians.

When a constituent needed to visit with Bill Allain personally, he was never too busy to meet and listen to the concerns of anyone. He was always accessible and approachable by just about everyone in both chambers of the Legislature.

Bill Allain had a keen intellect and was very humorous in his every day interactions. After leaving office, Bill Allain refused to have his portrait painted and hung along with the other past governors of our state.

I wondered for a while as to why not; however, it came to me over the years.

Bill Allain was an intellectual who truly cared about the every-day common man in Mississippi while never losing sight of his humble beginnings.

Allain was not impressed with the trappings of the offices that he held, knew what was right and wrong and proceeded to use his legal training and position to help all who would ask for help and needed help.

In my opinion, Bill Allain was a conservative public servant for many of the right reasons, and one cannot ask for more of an elected official. Rest in peace, Governor Bill Allain.

Bob Usey is a former Harrison County Republican state senator.

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